SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal - March 2019

SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

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Page 35 of 86

THE RANGER GENERATIONS A Brief History Of Ford’s Mid-Sized Pickup By Dan Sanchez Photos Courtesy Ford Motor Company Looking back into SCORE’s racing history, several Ford vehicles have competed in Baja and One of the first Original Equipment auto manufacturers to enter into SCORE racing was Ford. Starting with the Bronco and later the F-150 pickup, the company officially launched the Ford Ranger in March of 1982 with limited production as a 1983 model. The first vehicles to come off the assembly line were two-wheel drive models with four-wheel drives scheduled to appear later in August of 1982. The truck would later compete in Baja flying the banners of many race teams, but it was also a big hit with the American public, earning a spot as one of the most iconic pickups in American history. First Generation 1983-1988 TOP The first generation Ford Ranger replaced the Ford Courier in 1982 as an ’83 model. The 2WD truck was equipped with a 2.0L inline four-cylinder engine that made 73 horsepower and 107-lbs.-ft. torque. BOTTOM The 4WD models appeared in August 1982 featuring a 2.3L four-cylinder that made 79 horsepower and 126-lbs.-ft. torque. TOP Starting in 1984 thru 1988, the Ranger got an optional 2.8L V6 (115 hp/150 lbs.-ft), and a 2.2L four-cylinder diesel (59 hp/90 lbs.-ft). BOTTOM In 1986 to 1988, Ford also added a choice of a regular cab or a Super Cab, 1988 model pictured, that had a 125-in. wheelbase. TOP By 1989 the Ford Ranger was the best-selling compact pickup in North America. The styling was changed to be more aerodynamic. BOTTOM 1990 Ford Ranger STX was one of the popular models with its sporty appearance. A new 4.0L V6 (155 hp/220 lbs.-ft.) was offered for more power. In 1992 the 2.9L V6 was replaced with a 3.0L V6 in 2WD models only. TOP The 1993 Ford Ranger Splash debuted mid-year with Stepside fenders on a short bed. BOTTOM Ford completely restyled the Ranger’s body in 1993 but kept the chassis the same. TOPIn 1994 the Ford Ranger had an optional rally bar package with off-road and fog lights on 4x4 models. BOTTOM 1996 was the year that the Ford Ranger became the first vehicle equipped with a passenger side airbag with a key on and off switch. TOP In 1998, the Ranger got a new grille, an aluminum hood, and revised front fenders. Ford also made the Ranger into its first factory-built Electric Vehicle, the Ranger EV. BOTTOM In 2001, the Ranger used the Ford Explorer’s 4.0 SOHC V6 to raise its horsepower to 207 hp. TOP With increased off-road buyers the Ford Ranger got the FX4 off-road package in 2002, that included a limited slip differential, 31-inch BFG tires and Bilstein shocks. BOTTOM Appealing to youth buyers, the Ranger Tremor debuted in 2004 with an upgraded stereo system with amplifier and bass speakers. TOP Savvy off-road enthusiasts could order the FX4 level II option with larger rear axles, a Torsen limited slip diff, and 31-inch tires mounted on forged Alcoa wheels. MIDDLE In 2006 the Ranger got a new front grille and wider fender flares. Sales of the truck had already started to dwindle since 2004. BOTTOM After 2008, Ford Ranger sales were less than half of what they used to be. By 2011 Ford decided to end production of the truck, until its resurgence again in 2019 with the Fifth Generation.

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